First Lady Najla Mahmoud speaks with reporters. (Emirates 24/7)
The world now knows that Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party became the first civilian elected president in Egypt’s long history on June 24. But this isn’t the only “first” that Morsi has brought to the Egyptian political landscape.
Morsi is the first Islamist to get to the presidential palace. He is the first Egyptian president with Mohammed as an actual first name—although Hosni Mubarak and Anwar Sadat injected “Mohammed” into their names for Islamic flavor.
Also, he is the first Egyptian president to hold a PhD degree, which he earned in engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). And he is the first president to win a competitive election, where Egyptians had–for the first time–the opportunity to choose from more than one candidate.
An additional “first” that has garnered attention from the West — especially among Americans — is that Morsi’s wife, as the First Lady, is also the first to wear an abaya, the traditional Islamic dress and full coverage hijab.
Her name is Najla Mahmoud. Born in Cairo in 1962, she is Mohammad Morsi’s first cousin… and married Morsi in 1979. The couple has four sons and a daughter.
Egypt’s new First Lady lived in the United States with her husband while he studied at USC. She has been an active member of the Brotherhood for many years running multiple charity projects, particularly in the field of education, and she worked as a translator at the same time.
33 percent of marriages in Egypt are blood related.